Thursday, 30 June 2011

Taking it easy

Things have been pretty intense since the beginning of the year (when I officially went full time) and haven't really had more than about 2 consecutive days off all year.

So in the latter half of this month I decided to take some time off from the ladders and do some nice things like visit the seaside and go out for a nice Sunday lunch at my favourite country retreat, followed by a meander through the countryside


bloody countryside...

I've also endeavoured to get my bot up-and-running using the Market Feeder Pro software I was getting to know earlier in the year. There are a million things you can do with the triggers - think of a strategy and it can probably be achieved without programming. I've so far managed to implement about 5 in-running strategies now using the test mode (ie no real money used), and none of them have brought me the riches I was anticipating. Things happen very quickly in-running, and my bot seems to be behind the action, chucking in bets long after the opportunity has vanished. Of course, this has meant that lots of virtual money has been thrown down the virtual drain.

I'm wondering whether the software is not fast enough for my needs or is it just that my triggers are inefficiently written? It's obviously one of those things that I can only figure out for myself as sharing the strategies obviously isn't the smartest idea.

I'm willing to give Gruss a try, but it's lack of a test mode worries me. I don't want to throw real money down a real drain while testing whether my strategies work more efficiently in that software.

Incidentally, a few years ago, when I was dipping my toe in the Betfair markets, I came across a horse racing lay system and coded a bot to find the selections for me according to the rules of this system. It took me ages to get my head round the API and although the bot did its job, it was a bit flakey. Anyway, I implemented this same system in Market Feeder in about 10 minutes using a couple of triggers. I'd say MF Pro is ideal for pre-race strats and for watching and reporting on markets, but the jury is still out on its in-running capability.

The time off was nice but the profits have taken a bit of a hammering - first 18 intense days of the month...



versus the last 12 days...



1.8k for the month is still pretty respectable though and brings me a decent lifestyle. In retrospect, since the announcement of the Premium Charge changes this week, there isn't any hurry to reach 250k anymore!

Regarding the PC, obviously it has long-term "career" implications for me as it does many others. It's a bit shocking how suddenly it came into force and how mercilessly it has affected big-hitters like Peter Webb, who made a cool 1.7k on Saturday racing. Unless he finds a way to play the system, I shouldn't think he'll be too happy handing back a grand of his winnings in the future.

I'm a long way off the 250k threshold but as other traders have commented, the goalposts could move again without warning. Whilst 250k gives me some decent "headroom", who's to say that Betfair won't eventually decide to move the 250k limit down to 100k before too long. That will affect a lot more people, me included - I'm expecting to have reached 100k in the next 3-4 years. I never really expected to be trading for more than about 5 years anyway as I figured that if the PC didn't catch up with me, some new tax ruling would hammer another nail in the coffin. It seems the Betfair "golden era" is very much over now and, as someone else said, anyone thinking of making a decision to leave a job and try and make it on the exchange should probably think again.

Still, as someone who decided a while back that living in the moment is the best policy, I'm not going to worry about the next 2/3/4 years as anything could happen in that time.

9 comments:

  1. Indeed the implications are a bit severe and im a little concerned as im going full time in couple of weeks.... two late to turn back now! that said like you im hoping theirs enough life in it for me to last a year or two on decent money.

    Chuck

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  2. Yeah, you'll get a year or two out of it fo' shizzle

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  3. Mets Betangel now has a test feature so you dont have to trade real money.
    Cheers Tradermick

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  4. You'll possibly get 250K out of it, chuck, before it becomes worthless. Just be careful after the 18th as I know myself and some fellow traders will be acting differently. Betfair have some new tricks they'll be bringing in too so just be careful when these changes slowly come to light.

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  5. Just a few things they're doing in preparation for the sportsbook hedging, Mets. You'll like it, not a lot, but you'll like it :)

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  6. Looks like he's blown the bank again, happens to a lot of traders :)

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  7. I would quite like to get into sports trading. Have given up the poker and online roulette. Possibly sports could give me a less addictive hit. A bit like a Heroin addict trying out a bit of blow I guess. Am following the blog with interest

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  8. @FD - JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS! ;)

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